Thread: Internal Martial Arts
2/19/2007 2:33pm, #101
I was going to keep up with this whole thread, but I got bored...
The entire "internal vs. external" BS was started (or at least significantly contributed to) by Sun Lu-tang to screw with his contemporaries. It was an inside joke then, and an ongoing joke now.
When you look at external training versus internal training, you'll find, in the long run, more similarities than differences.
In the really long run, what does it matter anyway?
12/10/2009 5:23am, #102
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
Gee, I spent quite some time reading this thread.
Unfortunately Mike Patterson did not answered IIF's question directly. On his internetpage however, there is an rather unusual answer to the internal vs. external debate:
"The original meanings of Internal vs. External kung fu have been largely misconstrued over the last generation due to many "oral" variations of the many different kung fu families trying to paint a picture showcasing their own individual style. So, now adays a person hears many incorrect statements regarding these differences such as External Styles are "Hard" and Internal Styles are "Soft", but in reality the original meaning of this "difference" was entirely philosophic and geographic. The original me aning of the external styles was simply that those styles were originally started by Da Mo and the ShaoLin temples (buddhist philosophy) who purportedly came from India, and was hence from outside China (External Style). And the original meaning of "Inte rnal" was to denote those styles that were founded on the Taoist philosophy of Lao Tzu and were created inside of China (Internal Styles)." (source: http://www.hsing-i.com/tai_chi/IntvsExt.html)
I have no way to validate this.
However, imo this is a very funny and sufficient answer. At least I had a laugh.
1/08/2010 4:07pm, #103
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
- Ranger Fu
You know, that is probably as valid an answer as any!
To offer my two cents, consider the difference between TKD and Bagua. TKD gets you out there right away flopping arms and legs around in the air, and slowly works on improving your form. In contrast, Bagua starts with learning to sit right, then stand right, and then as you develop good form the external things are developed. That's how I'd see it anyway.
1/09/2010 7:46am, #104
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
technonaut, I agree, as good as any. But quit a valid source I guess.
nevertheless, I like that very unusual approach and it certainly is far away from that common chi-related internal stuff versus strengh/speed-related external stuff that is repeated on and on so often...
in other words, it made me laugh so I prefere to stick to it. It seems closer than that other.
1/12/2010 7:23pm, #105
I practice the internal arts from the perpective that, what makes them internal and not external, is what FORCE I am using in my self defense and offense techniques.
My perspective is as such:
external techniques use force that I generate when I block/kick/grapple/strike
internal techniques use force that you generate, and I deflect and redirect your force when I block/kick/grapple/strike.
Since Force = Mass X Acceleration, why not use your energy against you? The pure internal CMAs, (tcc, bgz, hic) use this way of thinking.
tai chi chuan is mostly interested in redirecting and neutralizing oncoming force in a non damaging way (yet damage can be performed when necessary). Tcc usually moves in rocking footwork, circle walking, and arcs.
ba gua zhang is also interested in piercing, joint locking, grappling and is a mix of tcc and hic. Bgz moves in any direction necessary.
hsing i chuan is mostly interested in immeditely redirecting and thrashing or piercing using the on coming opponent's force in a damaging way (yet neutralization and deflection can be performed when necessary). Hic usually moves from point A to point B in the most direct, through the opponent's center line, route.
Again, my point of view is that these 3 internal CMAs focus on redirecting and using the opponents force against them. An internal style martial artist is more interested in developing speed and sensitivity in reaction to the opponent's oncoming energy in the goal of redirecting it and using the opponent's energy against them.
1/12/2010 7:29pm, #106
1/12/2010 9:48pm, #107What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
1/13/2010 1:08am, #108
Having practiced a variation of Xingyi, Taiji, and Bagua for several years, as well as having practiced a variety of other arts, my take on the debate is that either side - internal or external - is a contrived attempt at self-imposed elitism.
When you look at the ultimate goals of both internal and external arts - fluidity of technique, depth of strike penetration, maximum damage with minimum effort, etc. - there are precious little significant differences remaining to identify one or the other.
1/13/2010 8:35am, #109
1/13/2010 9:14am, #110
What I meant to say was that the internal folks attempt to create an unnecessary and erroneous elitism. I've heard that pejorative - "you're doing it externally" - more than once.
Let me hit you, Mr. Internal-Elitist-Kid. You tell me whether it's "internal" or "external" once you pick your lungs up off the floor and start breathing again...